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I could name two, who, after having had seven children, fell out and parted beds upon the boiling of a leg of mutton. My very next neighbours have not spoke to one another these three days, because they differed in their opinions, whether the clock should stand by the window, or over the chimney. It may seem strange to you, who are not a married man, when I tell you how the least trifle can strike a woman dumb for a week together. But, if you ever enter into this state, you will find that the soft sex as often express their anger by an obstinate silence, as by an ungovernable cla
'Those indeed who begin this course of life without jars at their setting out, arrive within fection, of which the most perfect friendship few months at a pitch of benevolence and afis but a faint resemblance. As in the unforferent things are objects of the sharpest retunate marriage, the most minute and indifsentment; so in a happy one, they are occa‣ sions of the most exquisite satisfaction. For, what does not oblige in one we love? What does not offend in one we dislike? For these reasons I take it for a rule, that in marriage, the chief business is to acquire a prepossession in favour of each other. They should consider one another's words and actions with a secret indulgence. There should be always an inward fondness pleading for each other, such as may add new beauties to every thing that is excellent, give charms to what is indifferent, and cover every thing that is defective. For want of this kind propensity and bias of mind, the married pair often take things ill of each other, which no one else would take notice of in either of them.
• MR. BICKERSTAFF,
'I have received your paper of this day, and think you have done the nuptial state a great deal of justice in the authority you give us of Pliny, whose letters to his wife you have there translated. But give me leave to tell you, that it is impossible for you that are a bachelor to have so just a notion of this way of life, as to touch the affections of your readers in a particular, wherein every man's own heart suggests more than the nicest observer can form to himself, without experience. I, therefore, who am an old married man, have sat down to give you an account of the matter from my own knowledge, and the observations which I have made upon the conduct of others in that most agreeable or wretched condition.
But the most unhappy circumstance of all is, where each party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations, to exasperate each other with when they are out of humour. These people, in common discourse, make no scruple to let those who are by know they are quar
'It is very commonly observed, that the most smart pangs which we meet with, are in the beginning of wedlock, which proceed from ignorance of each other's humour, and want of prudence to make allowances for a change from the most careful respect, to the most un-relling with one another; and think they are bounded familiarity. Hence it arises, that discreet enough, if they conceal from the comtrifles are commonly occasions of the greatest pany the matters which they are hinting at. anxiety; for contradiction being a thing wholly About a week ago, I was entertained for a unusual between a new-married couple, the whole dinner with a mysterious conversation smallest instance of it is taken for the highest of this nature: out of which I could learn no injury; and it very seldom happens, that the more, than that the husband and wife were man is slow enough in assuming the character angry at one another. We had no sooner sat of a husband, or the woman quick enough in down, but says the gentleman of the house, condescending to that of a wife. It imme- in order to raise discourse, I thought Mardiately follows, that they think they have all garita* sung extremely well last night." Upon the time of their courtship been talking in this, says the lady, looking as pale as ashes, masks to each other, and therefore begin to I suppose she had cherry-coloured ribbands act like disappointed people. Philander finds Delia ill-natured and impertinent, and Delia, Philander surly and inconstant.
I have known a fond couple quarrel in the very honey-moon about eutting up a tart: nay,
Francesca Margarita de l'Epine, a native of Tuscany. This celebrated singer performed in many of the earlier
Italian operas represented in England. She and Mrs. Tofts
were rivals for the public favour, and it seems they divide i pretty equally the applause of the town.
No," answered the husband with anions of their friends, in the just value they flush in his face, "but she had laced shoes." have for each other.'
I look upon it, that a stander-by on such occa-
Ni vis boni
In ipsa inesset forma, hæc formam extinguerunt.
These things would extinguish beauty, if there were not an innate pleasure-giving energy in beauty itself.
From my own Apartment, March 27. WHEN artists would expose their diamonds to an advantage, they usually set them to show in little cases of black velvet. By this means the jewels appear in their true and genuine lustre, while there is no colour that can infect their brightness, or give a false cast to the water. When I was at the opera the other night, the assembly of ladies in mourning made me consider them in the same kind of view. A dress wherein there is so little variety shows the face in all its natural charms, and makes one differ from another only as it is more or less beautiful. Painters are ever carefu. of offending against a rule which is so essential in all just representations. The chief figure must have the strongest point of light, and not be injured by any gay colourings that may draw away the attention to any less considerable part of the picture. The present fashion obliges every body to be dressed with propriety, and makes the ladies' faces the principal objects of sight. Every beautiful person shines out in all the excellence with which nature has adorned her; gaudy ribbands and glaring colours being now out of use, the sex has no opportunity given them to disfigure themselves, which they seldom fail to do whenever it lies in their power. When a woman comes to her glass, she does not employ her sur-time in making herself look more advantageously than what she really is; but endeavours to be as much another creature as she possibly can. Whether this happens because they stay so long, and attend their work so diligently, that they forget the faces and persons which they first sat down with, or, whatever it is, they seldom rise from the toilet the same women they appeared when they began to dress. What jewel can the charming Cleora place in her ears that can please her beholders so much as her eyes? The cluster of diamonds upon the breast can add no beauty to the fair chest of ivory which supports it. It may indeed tempt a man to steal a woman, but never to love her. Let Thalestris change herself
'You see, sir, I have laid before you only small incidents, which are seemingly frivolous: but take it from a man very well experienced in this state, they are principally evils of this nature which make marriages unhappy. At the same time, that may do justice to this excellent institution, I must own to you, there are unspeakable pleasures which are as little regarded in the computation of the advantages of marriage, as the others are in the usual vey that is made of its misfortunes.
Lovemore and his wife live together in the happy possession of each other's hearts, and, by that means, have no indifferent moments, but their whole life is one continued scene of delight. Their passion for each other communicates a certain satisfaction, like that which they themselves are in, to all that approach them. When she enters the place where he is, you see a pleasure which he cannot conceal, nor he, or any one else, describe. In so consummate an affection, the very presence of the person beloved has the effect of the most agreeable conversation. Whether they have matter to talk of or not, they enjoy the pleasures of society, and, at the same time, the free-into a motley party-coloured animal: the dom of solitude. Their ordinary life is to be pearl necklace, the flowered stomacher, the preferred to the happiest moments of other artificial nosegay, and shaded furbelow, may lovers. In a word, they have each of them be of use to attract the eye of the beholder, great merit, live in the esteem of all who know and turn it from the imperfections of her feathem, and seem but to comply with the opi-tures and shape. But if ladies will take my
word for it (and as they dress to please men, they ought to consult our fancy rather than their own in this particular,) I can assure them, there is nothing touches our imagination so much as a beautiful woman in a plain dress. There might be more agreeable ornaments found in our own manufacture, than any that rise out of the looms of Persia.
ger, to throw a new gown or petticoat in her way. When she was about twenty-five years of age, she fell in love with a man of an agreeable temper and equal fortune, and would certainly have married him, had not my grandfather, sir Jacob, dressed her up in a suit of flowered sattin; upon which she set so immoderate a value upon herself, that the lover was contemned and discarded. In the fortieth year of her age, she was again smitten; but very luckily transferred her passion to a tippet, which was presented to her by another relation who was in the plot. This, with a white sarsenet hood, kept her safe in the family until fifty. About sixty, which generally produces a kind of latter spring in amorous constitutions, my aunt Margery had again a colt's tooth in her head; and would certainly have eloped from the mansion-house, had not her brother Simon, who was a wise man and a scholar, advised to dress her in cherry-coloured ribbands, which was the only expedient that could have been found out by the wit of man to preserve the thousand pounds in our family, part of which I enjoy at this time.
This, I know, is a very harsh doctrine to womankind, who are carried away with every thing that is showy, and with what delights the eye, more than any other species of living creatures whatsoever. Were the minds of the sex laid open, we should find the chief idea in one to be a tippet, in another a muff, in a third a fau, and in a fourth a fardingal. The memory of an old visiting lady is so filled with gloves, silks, and ribbands, that I can look upon it as nothing else but a toy-shop. A matron of my acquaintance, complaining of her daughter's vanity, was observing, that she had all of a sudden held up her head higher than ordinary, and taken an air that showed a secret satisfaction in herself, mixed with a scorn of others. I did not know,' says my friend, what to make of the carriage of this fantastical girl, until I was informed by her eldest sister, that she had a pair of striped garters on.' This odd turn of mind often makes the sex unhappy, and disposes them to be struck with every thing that makes a show, however trifling and superficial.
Many a lady has fetched a sigh at the toss of a wig, and been ruined by the tapping of a snuff-box. It is impossible to describe all the execution that was done by the shoulder-knot, while that fashion prevailed, or to reckon up No. 152.] all the virgins that have fallen a sacrifice to a pair of fringed gloves. A sincere heart has not made balf so many conquests as an open waistcoat; and I should be glad to see an able head make so good a figure in a woman's company as a pair of red heels. A Grecian hero, when he was asked whether he could play upon the lute, thought he had made a very good reply, when he answered, No; but I can make a great city of a little one.' Notwithstanding his boasted wisdom, I appeal to the heart of any toast in town, whether she would not think the lutenist preferable to the statesman? I do not speak this out of any aversion that I have to the sex; on the contrary, I have always had a tenderness for them; but, I must confess, it troubles me very much, to see the generality of them place their affections on improper objects, and give up all the pleasures of life for gewgaws and trifles.
From my own Apartment, March 29. A MAN who confines his speculations to the time present, has but a very narrow province For this reason, to employ his thoughts in. persons of studious and contemplative natures often entertain themselves with the history of past ages, or raise schemes and conjectures upon futurity. For my own part, I love to range through that half of eternity which is still to come, rather than look on that which is already run out; because I know I have a real share and interest in the one, whereas all that was transacted in the other can be only matter of curiosity to me.
Mrs. Margery Bickerstaff, my great aunt, had a thousand pounds to her portion, which our family was desirous of keeping among themselves, and therefore used all possible means to turn off her thoughts from marriage. Upon this account, I have been always very The method they took was, in any time of dan-much delighted with meditating on the soul's
This discourse puts me in mind of a humorist mentioned by Horace, called Eutrapelus, who, when he designed to do a man a mischief, made him a present of a gay suit; and brings to my memory another passage of the same author, when he describes the most ornamental dress that a woman can appear in, with two words, simplex munditiis, which I have quoted for the benefit of my female readers.
Thursday, March 30, 1710.
Dii, quibus imperium est animarum, umbrææque silentes,
Virg. Æn. vi. 204.
Infernal gods, who rule the shades below,
return to his kingdom and family, and a happy old age in the enjoyment of them.
Immortality, and in reading the several notions | devotions to all the gods, promises him a safe which the wisest of men, both ancient and modern, have entertained on that subject. What the opinions of the greatest philosophers have neen, I have several times hinted at, and shall give an account of them from time to time as occasion requires. It may likewise be worth while to consider, what men of the most exalted genius and elevated imagination have thought of this matter. Among these, Homer stands up as a prodigy of mankind, that looks down upon the rest of human creatures as a species beneath him. Since he is the most ancient heathen author, we may guess from his relation, what were the common opinions in his time concerning the state of the soul after death.
The poet, having thus with great art kept the curiosity of his reader in suspense, represents his wise man, after the despatch of his business with Tiresias, as yielding himself up to the calls of natural affection, and making himself known to his mother. Her eyes are no sooner opened, but she cries out in tears, Oh my son' and enquires into the occasions that brought him thither, and the fortune that attended him.
Ulysses, be tells us, made a voyage to the regions of the dead, in order to consult Tiresias how he should return to his own country, and recommend himself to the favour of the gods. The poet scarcely introduces a single person, who doth not suggest some useful precept to his reader, and designs his description of the dead for the amendment of the living.
Ulysses, after having made a very plenteous sacrifice, sat him down by the pool of holy blood, which attracted a prodigious assembly of ghosts of all ages and conditions, that hovered about the hero, and feasted upon the steams of his oblation. The first he knew was the shade of Elpenor, who, to show the activity of a spirit above that of body, is represented as arrived there long before Ulysses, notwithstanding the winds and seas had contributed all their force to hasten his voyage thither. This Elpenor, to inspire the reader with a detestation of drunkenness, and at the same time with a religious care of doing proper honours to the dead, describes himself as having broken his neck in a debauch of wine; and begs Ulysses, that for the repose of his soul, he would build a monument over him, and perform funeral rites to his memory. Ulysses, with great sorrow of heart, promises to fulfil his request, and is immediately diverted to an object much more moving than the former. The ghost of his own mother, Anticlea, whom he still thought living, appears to him among the multitudes of shades that surrounded him; and sits down at a small distance from him by the lake of blood, without speaking to him, or knowing who he was. Ulysses was exceedingly troubled at the sight, and could not forbear weeping as he looked upon her: but being all along set forth as a pattern of consummate wisdom, he makes his affection give way to prudence; and therefore, upon his seeing Tiresias, does not reveal himself to his mother, until he had consulted that great prophet, who was the occasion of this his descent into the empire of the dead. Tiresias having cautioned him to keep himself and his companions free from the guilt of sacrilege and to pay his
Ulysses, on the other hand, desires to know what the sickness was that had sent her into those regions, and the condition in which she had left his father, his son, and more particularly his wife. She tells him, they were all three inconsolable for his absence. As for myself,' says she, that was the sickness of which I died. My impatience for your return, my anxiety for your welfare, and my fondness for my dear Ulysses, were the only distempers that preyed upon my life, and separated my soul from my body.' Ulysses was melted with these expressions of tenderness, and thrice endeavoured to catch the apparition in his arms, that he might hold his mother to his bosom, and weep over her.
This gives the poet occasion to describe the notion the heathens at that time had of an unbodied soul, in the excuse which the mother makes for seeming to withdraw herself from her son's embraces. The soul,' says she, 'is composed neither of bones, flesh, nor sinews; but leaves behind her all those encumbrances of mortality to be consumed on the funeral pile. As soon as she has thus cast her burden, she makes her escape, and flies away from it like a dream.'
When this melancholy conversation is at an end, the poet draws up to view as charming a vision as could enter into man's imagination. He describes the next who appeared to Ulysses, to have been the shades of the finest women that had ever lived upon the earth, and who had either been the daughters of kings, the mistresses of gods, or mothers of heroes; such as Antiope, Alcmena, Leda, Ariadne, Iphimedia, Eriphyle, and several others, of whom he gives a catalogue, with a short history of their adventures. The beautiful assembly of apparitions were all gathered together about the blood. Each of them,' says Ulysses, as a gentle satire upon female vanity, giving me an account of her birth and family.' This scene of extraordinary women, seems to have been designed by the poet as a lecture of mortality to the whole sex, and to put them in mind of what they must expect, notwithstanding the greatest perfections, and highest honours, they can arrive at.
The circle of beauties at length disappeared,
and was succeeded by the shades of several I says the poet, was so pleased with the account he received of his son, that be enquired no further, but stalked away with more than o dinary majesty over the green meadow tha lay before them.'
Grecian heroes, who had been engaged with Ulysses in the siege of Troy. The first that approached was Agamemnon, the generalissimo of that great expedition, who, at the appearance of his old friend, wept very bitterly, and, without saying any thing to him, endeavoured to grasp him by the band. Ulysses, who was much moved at the sight, poured out a flood of tears, and asked him the occasion of his death, which Agamemnon related to him in all its tragical circumstances; how he was murdered at a banquet by the contrivance of his own wife, in confederacy with her adulterer: from whence he takes occasion to reproach the whole sex, after a manner which would be inexcusable in a man who had not been so great a sufferer by them. My wife,' says he, has disgraced all the women that shall ever be born into the world, even those who hereafter shall be innocent. Take care how you grow too fond of your wife. Never tell her all you know. If you reveal some things to her, be sure you keep others concealed from her. You, indeed, have nothing to fear from your Penelope, she will not use you as my wife has treated me; however, take care how you trust a woman.' The poet, in this and other stances, according to the system of many heathen as well as Christian philosophers, shows how anger, revenge, and other habits which the soul had contracted in the body, subsist, and grow in it under its state of sepa
I am extremely pleased with the companions which the poet in the next description assigns to Achilles. Achilles,' says the hero, came up to me with Patroclus and Antilochus.' which we may see that it was Homer's opinion, and probably that of the age he lived in, that the friendships which are made among the living, will likewise continue among the dead. Achilles enquires after the welfare of his son, and of his father, with a fierceness of the same character that Homer has every where expressed in the actions of his life. The passage relating to his son is so extremely beautiful, that I must not omit it. Ulysses, after having described him as wise in council, and active in war, and mentioned the foes whom he had slain in battle, adds an observation that he himself had made of his behaviour, whilst he lay in the wooden horse. Most of the generals,' says he, that were with us, either wept or trembled; as for your son, I never saw him wipe a tear from his cheeks, or change his countenance. On the contrary, he would often lay his hand upon his sword, or grasp his spear, as impatient to employ them against the Trojans.' He then informs his father of the great honour and rewards which he had purchased before Troy, and of his return from it without a wound. The shade of Achilles,'
This last circumstance, of a deceased father's rejoicing in the behaviour of his son, is very finely contrived by Homer, as an incentive to virtue, and made use of by none that I know besides himself.
The description of Ajax, which follows, and his refusing to speak to Ulysses, who had won the armour of Achilles from him, and by that means occasioned his death, is admired by every one that reads it. When Ulysses relates the sullenness of his deportment, and considers the greatness of the hero, he expresses himself with generous and noble sentiments. Oh! that I had never gained a prize which cost the life of so brave a man as Ajax! who, for the beauty of his person, and greatness of his actions, was inferior to none but the divine Achilles.' The same noble condescension, which never dwells but in truly great minds, and such as Homer would represent that of Ulysses to have been, discovers itself likewise in the speech which he made to the ghost of Ajax on that occasion. in-Oh, Ajax!' says he, will you keep your resentments even after death? What destructions hath this fatal armour brought upon the Greeks, by robbing them of you, who were their bulwark and defence? Achilles is not more bitterly lamented among us than you. Impute not then your death to any one but Jupiter, who, out of his anger to the Greeks, took you away from among them: let me entreat you to approach me; restrain the fierceByness of your wrath, and the greatness of your soul, and hear what I have to say to you.' Ajax, without making a reply, turned his back upon him, and retired into a crowd of ghosts.
Ulysses, after all these visions, took a view of those impious wretches who lay in tortures for the crimes they had committed upon the earth, whom he describes under all the varieties of pain, as so many marks of divine vengeance, to deter others from following their example. He then tells us, that notwithstanding he had a great curiosity to see the heroes that lived in the ages before him, the ghosts began to gather about him in such prodigious multitudes, and with such a confusion of voices, that his heart trembled as he saw himself amidst so great a scene of horrors. He adds, that he was afraid lest some hideous spectre should appear to him, that might terrify him to distraction; and therefore withdrew in time.
I question not but my reader will be pleased with this description of a future state, represented by such a noble and fruitful imagination, that had nothing to direct it besides the light of nature, and the opinions of a dark and ignorant age.